Date: June 14, 2012

Elias Says...

By Elias Sports Bureau, Inc.
Special to ESPN.com

MLB

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Cain

CAIN IS PERFECT

From Elias: Matt Cain struck out 14 batters on Wednesday, tying the most in a perfect game - Sandy Koufax had 14 strikeouts against the Cubs on Sept. 9, 1965. Before Wednesday, the last pitcher with 14 or more strikeouts in a no-hitter was Nolan Ryan, who had 16 against the Blue Jays on May 1, 1991. (Ryan had 14 or more strikeouts in four of his seven no-hitters.)

Of course, the Giants scored 10 runs for Cain tonight when he least needed it. San Francisco had scored 10 or more runs in only six of Cain's previous 215 starts for the Giants, and his average career run support entering the night - 3.75 runs per game - was the lowest among pitchers with at least 150 starts since 2005, when Cain joined the big leagues. No previous team had scored more than six runs in support of a perfect-game pitcher. One of those runs was scored by Cain himself - he's the first pitcher to score a run in a perfect game.

There have now been five perfect games in the last four seasons - by Cain, Philip Humber, Roy Halladay, Dallas Braden and Mark Buehrle (and don't forget Armando Galarraga's near-perfect night in 2010) - as many as there were in the first 88 seasons of major-league history (1876 through 1963).

There have been three no-hitters in the last 13 days: Johan Santana against the Cardinals on June 1, the Mariners' group effort versus the Dodgers on June 8 and Cain on Wednesday. It's the first time since 1917 that there have been three no-hitters in a span of less than two weeks. From May 2-6, 1917 there were three no-hitters (Fred Toney, Ernie Koob and Bob Groom).

San Francisco Giants

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Cain

THE DAY OF THE PITCHER

From Elias: Matt Cain threw a perfect game with 14 strikeouts; R.A. Dickey struck out 12, allowed no walks and no earned runs; and Lance Lynn struck out 12, walked one, and did not allow an earned run. It's the first time since the major leagues have been tracking earned runs that three pitchers didn't allow an earned run while striking out 12 and walking no more than one batter on the same night.

San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals, New York Mets

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Dickey

DICKEY ONLY THE SECOND-BEST PITCHER OF THE NIGHT

From Elias: Before Matt Cain's heroics, we were going to rename tonight's column "Elias Says about R.A. Dickey". Dickey on Wednesday set a Mets record for consecutive scoreless innings (32 2/3, besting the mark Jerry Koosman established in 1973) while striking out 12 batters and allowing one hit and no walks. It was the second complete-game one-hitter in Mets history in which the pitcher walked no one and had 10 or more strikeouts. The other was Tom Seaver's "imperfect game" on July 9, 1969, in which the only hit was by Jimmy Qualls with one out in the ninth inning; Seaver struck out 11.

Dickey has not allowed an earned run in any of his last four starts, while pitching at least seven innings and striking out eight or more batters in each game. Since the mound was lowered in 1969, the only other pitcher to have a four-game streak like that - seven or more innings, no earned runs, eight or more strikeouts - was Pedro Martinez in the summer of 2002.

Dickey now has 58 strikeouts and four walks in his last six starts; since 1900, only three other pitchers have had that many strikeouts and so few walks in a six-game span: Johan Santana (2004), Curt Schilling (2002) and Pedro Martinez (2000).

New York Mets

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Lynn

LYNN TOPS 10 STRIKEOUTS AGAIN

From Elias: Lance Lynn struck out 12 White Sox batters on Wednesday and he had 11 strikeouts in his last start, against the Astros on Thursday. The only other Cardinals pitchers in the last 40 years with more than 10 strikeouts in back-to-back games were Alan Benes in 1997 and Todd Stottlemyre in 1996.

St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago White Sox

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Dickey

LYNN AND DICKEY FIRST TO 10 WINS (PACKERS FANS: NOT LYNN DICKEY)

From Elias: Lance Lynn and R.A. Dickey each recorded their 10th wins of the season on Wednesday. Dickey is the second Mets pitcher to be the first in the major leagues to reach 10 wins, joining Tom Glavine, who did it in 2006. Lynn is the first Cardinals pitcher who was the first in the majors to 10 wins in a season since Harvey Haddix in 1954.

New York Mets, St. Louis Cardinals

STRASBURG FIRST TO 100 STRIKEOUTS

From Elias: Stephen Strasburg struck out eight batters against Toronto on Wednesday to reach 100 for the season. He's the first pitcher from a Washington team to be the first major-league pitcher to reach 100 strikeouts in a season since Walter Johnson in 1919. Johnson reached 100 strikeouts on July 19 of that year and went on to lead the majors with 147 strikeouts that season.

Toronto Blue Jays, Washington Nationals

MOORE RECORDS FIRST CAREER RBIS

From Elias: Nationals rookie first baseman Tyler Moore went 3 for 4 on Wednesday and drove in the first five runs of his career. The only other active player whose first five career RBIs all came in the same game is Starlin Castro, who had six RBIs in his major-league debut (May 7, 2010). Castro is the only player to have six RBIs in his first major-league game.

Washington Nationals

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Votto

THE SUN IS THE ONLY THING HOTTER THAN VOTTO

From Elias: Joey Votto went two for three with a double in the Reds' win over the Indians on Wednesday. Votto is now 32 for 61 (.525) over his past 17 games, with a .577 on-base percentage and a .885 slugging average. Votto now has 76 hits and 50 walks in only 61 games and over the last 15 seasons (1998 to date), the only other player to accumulate 75 hits and 50 walks so few games into a season was Todd Helton, also in his 61st game, in 2004.

Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians

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Chapman

HE'S HUMAN

From Elias: Aroldis Chapman allowed a home run to Jose Lopez on Wednesday, and he's now allowed four runs over his last three appearances. That's as many runs as he allowed over his previous 35 appearances dating back to August 31 of last season.

Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians

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Thome

THOME TURNS BACK THE CLOCK

From Elias: Jim Thome knocked in four runs for the Phillies on Wednesday, making him, at 41 years, 291 days old, the oldest Phillies player to have a four-RBI game. The previous oldest was Matt Stairs, at 41 years, 195 days in 2009. And the only other Phillies players age 40 or older with a four-RBI game are Tony Perez (twice in 1983) and Joe Morgan (later in 1983).

Philadelphia Phillies

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Ortiz

ORTIZ DOESN'T MIND DOUBLE DUTY

From Elias: David Ortiz has not played the field often in recent years, but when he has he's hit a lot of home runs. Since 2005, Ortiz has hit 18 homers in only 43 games and 159 at-bats as a first baseman, including one in Miami on Wednesday. That's a home-run rate of one every 8.8 at-bats.

Boston Red Sox

ROCKIES SKID CONTINUES

From Elias: The Athletics win in Colorado on Wednesday sent the Rockies to their eighth consecutive interleague loss this season, all of which have been at Coors Field. That's tied for the longest single-season home losing streak in interleague games, previously done by the 2007 Orioles and 2008 Padres.

Colorado Rockies, Oakland Athletics

RANGERS SQUEAK ONE OUT

From Elias: The Rangers' 1-0 win over the Diamondbacks on Wednesday was their second 1-0 win in Arlington this season; the first was against the Mariners on April 10. It's the first time that the Rangers have had a pair of 1-0 wins in one season at their current stadium. They last did that in Texas in 1990 in their previous venue, Arlington Stadium.

Texas Rangers, Arizona Diamondbacks

ORIOLES BACK TO 10 OVER .500

From Elias: The Orioles climbed back to 10 games over .500 with a win over the Pirates on Wednesday, moving their won-lost record to 36-26. Since Baltimore won the A.L. East in 1997, they've been 10 games over .500 after at least 60 games in only two other seasons: 1998 (as late as 68-58) and 2005 (at 42-32 through 74 games).

Baltimore Orioles, Pittsburgh Pirates


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